THE BIG SKY
Moonrise on July 27 is rather special. We’ll have a full moon, but it’ll rise fully eclipsed in Earth’s shadow. That familiar silver giant that we all know so well will appear as a ghostly dark orb over the eastern horizon shortly before 9:30pm. Night’s deepening darkness sees our ‘ghost moon’ rise higher into the sky. As it does so coppery red tones might develop over its surface. By about 10:20pm the left limb of the moon brightens – a sign that our first total lunar eclipse visible from the UK since September 2015 is coming to an end. And 25 minutes later the left half of the moon is restored; its silver face gaining ever more prominence. Shrinking away to the right is the remainder of Earth’s shadow, the curved dividing line between the light and dark portions being a projection of Earth’s curvature on the moon’s surface.
At 11:15pm the show’s over. Our full moon is back to normal, but you won’t fail to notice a red ‘star’ sat beneath the moon. This ‘star’ is Mars, which makes its brightest appearance in the sky since 2003 on the same night!
Eclipsed moon rising in 2015